- Our Mission and Vision Statement
- Who are we?
- Accreditation and Licensure
- Starting Services
- Your rights as a client
- Your Responsibilities as a client
- Responsibilities for Parents/Guardians of Minors
- Importance of Keeping Appointments
- CHS Executive Director and Governing Board of Directors
The Center for Human Services exists to assist persons in McLean County who are in need of behavioral health services.
The Center for Human Services provides recovery oriented, community based behavioral health services in the least restrictive setting. To this end, the Center offers quality care that is characterized by both clinically appropriate and cost effective treatment.
The Center for Human Services has been a not-for-profit social service organization governed by a Board of Directors composed of residents of McLean County. The Board sets policy and direction and employs an Executive Director to administer the affairs of the organization.
The Center employs qualified staff with diverse, yet complementary backgrounds. The staff includes professionals trained in psychiatry, psychology, social work, and nursing.
The McLean County Center for Human Services began in 1927 as the Bloomington/Normal Child Guidance Clinic. Under the charter, it could not serve anyone over 16 years of age. The Clinic employed one full-time social worker and a number of part-time staff both local and from Peoria and Champaign. The Clinic was open only on weekends in the early years.
A growing realization that parents and other adults needed help too, led to reorganization as the McLean County Mental Health Center in 1955. The late 1950’s saw the beginnings of the community mental health approach and the Center became involved in local care for clients released from area hospitals. The staff grew with the increased number and range of clients and a full-time Executive Director was added.
In the late 1960’s, the state mental health offices added back-up support to the community efforts and a Medical Director was added to the full-time staff of approximately half a dozen people.
The Mental Health Center continued on this level until the mid-1970’s. The Crisis Component was added in the early 1970’s. The Center experienced a rapid growth period when the state’s Department of Mental Health gave responsibility and funding to the communities in the mid-1970’s. In 1976, YSA merged with the Center and in 1978, the day treatment facility was added. The staff had grown to 27.
In early 1980, the name was changed to the McLean County Center for Human Services, both in response to surveys outlining the negative reaction to the old name and to better reflect the increasing scope of the Center’s services to the community.
As of today, CHS currently employs approximately 80 full and part-time staff, with our main office at 108 W Market, along with buildings devoted to our Recovery and Residential Programs.
The Center for Human Services is currently licensed & certified by the Illinois Department of Human Services.
The Center is also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
If you are interested in starting services with CHS, please call one of screening specialists at 309.827.5351 or simply come into our office (no appointment necessary) between the hours of 9a and 4p, Monday-Friday. Our staff will be happy to meet with you and discuss your options.
The decision to start our services is a large one and there are a lot of myths about seeking help.
Let us clarify some things:
- It doesn’t mean you’re ‘crazy’ or weak
- It doesn’t mean you aren’t strong enough to fix your own problems
- It also doesn’t mean the counselor is going to ‘fix’ you, they can’t do the work for you
Part of the process requires you to share personal information that can be uncomfortable and sometimes emotionally painful. Our staff will guide you through this process teaching you coping skills to help manage uncomfortable emotions and physical responses. In general, you decide what issues to work on and how much you want to explore about yourself.
If you know of anyone whom you would like to refer to our services, please contact one of our screening specialists at 309.827.5351
Your “rights” are protected in accordance with Chapter 2 of the Illinois Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities Code (405ILCS5).
You have a right to:
- all constitutional/legal rights.
- all of your rights regardless of your sex, age, race, religion, color, creed, sexual orientation, financial status, disability or origin.
- and responsibility to actively participate in your treatment.
- keep your information and record private and confidential, except when we are required by law to provide information. This may happen when there is threatened harm to self or others or suspected/reported abuse or neglect. You will receive further information regarding these exceptions at your orientation. Otherwise, to release protected health information about you, we will complete and ask you to sign a release of information form.
- say yes or no regarding treatment recommendations/services.
- a safe environment and to be informed regarding the facility evacuation plan
- ask your therapist any questions regarding infection control practices.
- complain, in writing, and to have a response to that complaint.
- expect the Center to maintain a high standard of ethics in regard to you and your treatment.
- receive the least restrictive and individualized services/treatment.
- know of the qualifications of your therapist and the techniques or approaches used in your treatment, which will be explained to you by your assigned therapist.
- ask your therapist how you are doing in your course of treatment.
- know about the program hours of operation, services, and activities available to you and the cost of those services.
- know the rules and expectations of the therapist.
- know who to contact when you have questions, which is listed on page 3 of this handout.
- purchase services from private physicians and other mental health professionals
- discontinue treatment or refuse specific services at any time (except those under court order) but we would appreciate you notifying us in advance so we can reschedule the time.
- Be free from abuse & neglect, as well as know who to report concerns of abuse (physical injury,sexual or mental injury), neglect, exploitation (someone taking unjust advantage of you financially or sexually for their own benefit or advantage) or humiliation (not treating you with respect and dignity.)
- know that your therapist may choose to share your file with other professionals in the Center to gain advice from them in order to provide you with the best possible services.
- know that your therapist may recommend you work with a different therapist at the Center, but will only do so for good cause and after discussion with you. This includes immediate, pending, and potential future needs.
- participate in any research study with written informed consent. A specific “release of information” will also be required, in writing, to allow use and disclosure of any of your personal information for the research.
- not participate in any research study. This will not affect your treatment, payment or enrollment in a health plan, or affect your eligibility for benefits.
- know that we may ask, at any time, how we are doing in providing you the care/services recommended.
- report when you feel any of your rights have been violated
- offer suggestions and/or raise your concerns about our organization and that you can file a formal grievance if you are dissatisfied with services.
- know that you are free from retaliation (revenge) for exercising any of your rights and will not be denied, suspended, or terminated from services or have services reduced.
You are responsible:
- for your health care.
- for your actions if you decide not to follow the health care provider’s instructions.
- to report any information about your condition, including changes in your health or reaction to medication.
- for following your treatment plan agreed upon by you and your health care provider.
- for your payments, to the best of your ability.
- to keep and show up on time for your appointments.
- not to bring firearms or weapons (including knives) to any Center location.
- not to bring any alcohol or illicit drugs to the any Center location. Prescription medications should be
- brought in only if dose packed and kept on your person.
- to be clean and sober when you come to any Center location.
- to follow health and safety practices.
- not to use any form of tobacco products while in any Center location.
- to wear appropriate dress while at any Center location.
One of the hardest decisions you may ever have to make is deciding whether or not your child needs counseling. It is important to remember that seeking professional help indicates that
- You want what’s best for your child and family
- You are aware that problems exist
- You are willing to take responsible action to solve the problem
To help us treat your child, you (and possibly other family members) will need to participate in your child’s counseling. Due to children’s need for consistency, you and your child are encouraged to make every appointment with your therapist. If an emergency or change in school schedule prevents this, a phone call should be made as soon as possible to CHS to cancel and reschedule the appointment. Your therapist can be reached at 827-5351.
We also ask that you do not bring your child to appointments if he/she
- Stayed home from school due to illness the day of the appointment, or left school early due to illness,
- Has had a temperature in the last 24 hours
- Has head lice, impetigo, or any other contagious illness
Once again, please call 827-5351 to make your therapist aware of any problems listed above as soon as you can. We will be happy to re-schedule your appointment. If you do bring a child who appears to be ill, your therapist may choose not to see your child that day and will re-schedule. If you cancel an appointment due to medical illness, you will not be charged for a missed appointment.
Please discuss any problems interfering with your ability to fully participate in counseling with your therapist. If keeping appointments becomes problematic, your therapist will discuss this with you. Inconsistent attendance may be grounds for termination of services.
Your cooperation and participation is important. You are our “eyes” and “ears” into your home and without your insights and observations about what is occurring, we will be unable to determine either the severity of the problems or whether or not counseling is having a positive impact on your family. At times, we may also need your help in completing certain tasks between counseling sessions. Depending upon the individual needs of your family, these tasks may include:
– Reading certain articles – Keeping records
– Attending classes – Completing homework assignments
Please remember to remain committed to counseling. Inconsistent participation on the part of either you or your family can create more problems than it can solve.
The relationship between you and your counselor is very important to the success of your treatment. Attending all scheduled sessions helps build a foundation allowing for the important, sometimes difficult work that needs to be done in your treatment. Additionally, state regulations require us to complete various assessments and other documentation at regular intervals. For these reasons, the agency enforces an attendance policy.
While we understand that you may have to miss an occasional appointment, multiple missed/cancelled appointments may lead to CHS closing your file. Your ability to receive services again will not be guaranteed. Staff will discuss attendance issues with you if necessary. If you do need to cancel an appointment, please notify us as soon as possible.
Tom Barr, LCPC, has held numerous clinical and administrative positions for over 40 years with the McLean County Center for Human Services. He currently serves as the Center’s Executive Director.
Governing Board of Directors
Todd Bunton, CFA, works in the Investments department at COUNTRY Financial.
Keith Gehrand retired from the Illinois State University Police Department as a Captain in 2007. Since that time he has been active as a trainer for the Illinois Fire Service Institute, Illinois School and Campus Safety Program, and consultant to the public and private sector. He currently works at Heartland Community College with their public safety and emergency management efforts, and continues to do training for schools, colleges, and universities around Illinois. In January 2020, he began his fourth seven-year term as a member of the Board of Directors.
Bob Keller served as director of the McLean County Health Department for 20 – years prior to his retirement in 2009. Bob served as president of three statewide associations during his tenure. Bob continues doing management consulting work for health departments and not-for-profits.
Tom Lamonica has served as a communication professional and communication educator for more than 45 years. In addition to his consulting work, he is a faculty member in the School of Communication at Illinois State University, teaching public relations, leading the internship program and working on special projects for the school.
William (Bill) Mullins is a graduate of Illinois State University with over 25 years experience in the financial services industry.
Sally Bulkley Pancrazio served in multiple administrative positions at the Illinois State Board of Education, Springfield, for 18 years. She left the agency at the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Planning, Research, and Evaluation to return to Illinois State University. She retired from Illinois State University following her service as Dean, College of Education.
Dr. Mark Swerdlik Ph.D., ABPP is a licensed school and clinical psychologist . He is Board Certified in school psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. He recently retired from Illinois State University in June 2021 after serving as faculty member affiliated with the school psychology graduate programs for 43 years including serving as program coordinator for their specialist and doctoral programs from 1987-2020. Dr. Swerdlik has worked as a clinical supervisor at the ISU Psychological Services Center, had an independent practice of school psychology in the Bloomington-Normal Community, and was a Illinois State Board of Education Due Process Hearing officer. Dr. Swerdlik continues to provide professional service to the National Association of School Psychologists, Illinois School Psychologist Association and the Illinois School Psychology Internship Consortium and serves as a consultant to school districts and graduate programs in school psychology.
Stacy Post completed the Mental Health First Aid USA certification on February 23, 2018. She has worked at COUNTRY Financial since 2002 and in Human Resources since 2005 with a focus on retirement benefits and helping employees plan for retirement. Prior to working at COUNTRY Financial, she worked as a counselor at The Hour House in Charleston, IL.
Dr. Doris Houston was named Interim Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion at Illinois State University in July of 2020. She is the first to hold this inaugural position, established to provide leadership to academic departments and campus units in their efforts to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). Her role also extends to the community and includes engaging with stakeholders at the local, statewide, and national levels.
Prior to joining the Office of the President, Dr. Houston served for fifteen years as a faculty member in the School of Social Work, which included a two-year appointment as the School’s Director. Dr. Houston began her professional career as a Child Welfare Specialist and Adoption Specialist with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services where she later held the position of Field Office Supervisor at the Urbana, Illinois field office. In 2020, Dr. Doris Houston was honored with the McLean County YWCA Woman of Distinction Award and in 2018, she was named recipient of the ISU David A. Strand Diversity Achievement Award.
While originally from Chicago, Doris has called central Illinois her home for more than 25 years. She is a proud member of the Central Illinois Chapter of the Links, Inc., the McLean County NAACP, and the Women to Women’s Giving Circle of the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation.
Ed McKibbin is an attorney at Dunn Law Firm who has practiced law for over 20 years including 15 years as an attorney at Illinois State University, and at Haessler Sullivan Klein and McKibbin, Ltd. in Wahoo, Nebraska.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you come to the Center, you will receive an assessment for services. The purpose of this assessment is to determine the right services and programs to meet your needs. With the information you provide, you and our staff will determine how best to proceed with your treatment plan. We encourage the inclusion of family/significant others in treatment planning.
We want you to participate in determining your mental health problems and your treatment plan for those problems. If you have any questions about your diagnosis or treatment, please discuss them with your therapist or case manager.
If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment with a therapist/case manager, please call us at 309-827-5351 as soon as possible.
We have trained staff that can treat most major mental and behavioral problems for individuals. Common problems that are treated can include (but are not exclusive): depression, anxiety, psychosis, and adjustment disorders.
We accept Medicaid (including Health Alliance, Molina, & Meridian) and Medicare. If you are not insured you still qualify for select services. Please call for further information.
We are conveniently located in Downtown Bloomington at the Southeast corner of Market and Center. There is limited on-street parking and free 4 hour parking on the lower level of the Parking Garage located at the Southwest corner of Market and Center Streets.
Our current hours for clinicians are Monday through Thursday 8AM to 6PM and Friday 8AM to 4PM.
Treatment will focus on an Individual Treatment Plan, however with your permission family members and caregivers are able to participate. We do not provide Marriage Counseling.
If you are referred to and accepted to see a provider through our Medical Services program, you will have access to Center prescribed medications.
In general, we cannot share information about your treatment without your written permission; However, in certain circumstances your information may be shared on a limited basis. These circumstances will be explained to you during your orientation as a client. Examples of times your information may be shared without your permission include (but are not limited to):
- You have a legal guardian
- You are in imminent danger to yourself or others